Research shows right-hand drive vehicles more likely to crash



    ICBC study shows over 40 per cent greater chance of crashing

    NORTH VANCOUVER, Aug. 14 /CNW/ - A study conducted by ICBC concludes that
right-hand-drive vehicles are over 40 per cent more likely to get into a crash
over similar left-hand-drive vehicles.
    The research looked at whether the right-hand-drive configuration leads
to increased crash risk, and whether or not these vehicles offer less
protection to passengers than built-for-Canada vehicles of a similar age.
    "In the study we found that the average time for a crash to occur after
first purchasing a right-hand-drive vehicle was 223 days which is 68 per cent
sooner than for left-hand-drive vehicles, which was 705 days," said Peter
Cooper, ICBC Manager Performance Analysis Services. "Based on an analysis of
the claims data, there was no evidence to suggest that the right-hand-drive
vehicles offer less protection."
    The research was undertaken in response to a dramatic increase in the
number of right-hand-drive vehicles being imported into BC and other parts of
Canada. Currently imported vehicles that are 15 years or older do not need to
meet Canadian Motor Vehicles Safety Standards. They do however need to meet
provincial standards and pass an inspection before being allowed onto the
road.
    It's estimated that more than 200 right-hand-drive vehicles are imported
into BC every month. With the large number of vehicles not designed for North
American roads entering BC and Canada, there have been questions raised about
their safety.
    Transport Canada is currently reviewing the 15-year importation rule. As
part of the review, it is expected that Transport Canada will be holding a
national consultation session later this fall where motor vehicle
administrators, importer associations and the general public will be invited
to participate.
    In the meantime, ICBC is asking customers considering purchasing
right-hand-drive vehicles to do their homework and be aware that driving one
of these vehicles presents greater risk.
    "If you are driving a right-hand-drive vehicle it is much more difficult
to see oncoming traffic when making a left turn and there are similar
challenges when pulling away from the curb," according to Nicolas Jimenez,
ICBC Director of Road Safety and Loss Prevention. "To stay safe you need to
use extra caution and only proceed when you are sure it's clear to do so."
    The full ICBC research study can be found on www.icbc.com.





For further information:

For further information: Doug Henderson, (604) 982-1332

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